Must-See Spring/Summer 2013 Collections: Part 1

On September 4, style bloggers took to the streets, models were fitted, designers tweeked, buyers examined, socialites posed, and all turned to fashion in New York City. It was day 1 of fashion month, kicking off ten days in New York, five in London, six in Milan and, the grand finale, six in Paris. It can be exceedingly overwhelming to browse lengthy collections as they are published (seemingly live) on the web. Some are for the Daphne Guinness’ of this world, unwearable and fantastical all the same, others are just plain ridiculous, and most are eye opening and beautiful. Part 1 of my Must-See Spring/Summer 2013 collections gives you everything from a Sicilian getaway to a classic trench with a twist, and thank goodness, a whole lot of inspiration for the every day.

DVF:  Diane von Furstenberg is known for her bold prints and wrap dresses, but each year she never ceases to amaze by continuously reinventing the wheel while staying true to her brand image. Diane is all about empowering women, and this is evident in these confident, bold looks that are incredibly current. Nothing says “I’m fearless” like giant hoop earrings or turquoise paired with soft pink and a plunging neckline. Diane not only gives us a lesson in colour blocking, but equips us with styling tips for our next wardrobe blunder.
See the full collection here.

DKNY: A great pencil skirt, perfectly tailored pants, and killer colour combos. DKNY, in a nutshell. No matter how many wild collections I peruse, I always find myself enthralled by those minimalistic shows that introduce high fashion to the street. You know those women that pass you by, impeccably styled? Imagine a whole collection of them, without all the guilt of staring. Tuck a denim button up into a fitted skirt and pair your favourite khakis with a punch of yellow and some black detailing.
See the full collection here.

Dolce & Gabbana: A collection that transports you to a far away land in a heartbeat, is a special thing. Chandelier earrings inspired by street puppets, souvenir scarves worn as hair accessories, colourful patterns, bold stripes, embroidered detailing and all things traditionally Sicilian, embodied the Dolce & Gabbana Spring show. It was hardly a departure for the brand, but you can’t help but love it. Draw inspiration from the designers’ daring use of colour and accessories, and look to your inner Italiano for that signature confidence.
See the full collection here.

Burberry Prorsum: The days of traditional beige and classic trench are long gone for Burberry, and what results is utter reinvention. Designer Christopher Bailey was inspired by the 1940s this season, materializing in a collection stacked with capes, corsets, peplums and pencil skirts in the deepest of colours. A dark berry lip unified each look, and colour pairings were major eye candy with the likes of royal blue and emerald green followed by classic scarlet and deep purple. A lesson in colour blocking is dominant here, but there’s also a dramatic transformation of classicism that we can all begin to master in the every day.
See the full collection here.

Badgley MischkaFeminine, romantic, pale; Badgley Mischka brought this and so much more to the runway this season, showcasing just how interesting these three qualities can be. A rosette adorned peplum top, scalloped skirts, embroidered detailing, a tuxedo jacket tucked into a draping skirt, and a colour palette different from any other bright-eyed collection out there. Infuse a little soft romance into your wardrobe, with unusual and obscure floral touches mixed with modern cuts and small details that catch the eye.
See the full collection here.


Which Spring/Summer 2013 collection most inspires you?


Living Legend: Jean Paul Gaultier

When you hear the name Jean Paul Gaultier, you may think of Madonna’s bustiers, nautical stripes, or perfume bottles shaped like a woman’s figure (cone bra included), or you may not recognise the name at all. No matter your current understanding of him, Jean Paul Gaultier is one of fashion’s living legends. Designing collections since the 70’s, Gaultier has been the mastermind behind many fashion movements, and is often referred to as the saviour of Couture. Gaultier is also described as “Frencher than French”, with continual French influence and obvious Parisian references in each of his collections. For all of these reasons and more, Montreal’s Musée des Beaux-Arts is celebrating Gaultier’s 35 years in the business by showcasing his most memorable designs.

Having hosted the works of Yves Saint Laurent and Denis Gagnon in past exhibitions, Montreal’s Musée des Beaux-Arts is no stranger to high fashion. I visited the exhibit this weekend and was amazed by the couture before me and the power with which it is presented. Upon entering the exhibit, you’re greeted with a myriad of Gaultier’s signature stripes, but as you approach, the mannequins seem to come alive. Not figuratively, but literally. While the bodies of the mannequins are as you would expect, the faces are projected from above, giving the figures the ability to blink, speak and even sing. It sounds creepy, and it is for about 10 minutes, until you begin to marvel at the models in all their splendour. It seems to bring the clothing to life.

If you’re headed to Montreal anytime soon, or you’re a fellow resident, I highly suggest taking a trip to the museum and spending the $15 it costs to experience a little taste of French Couture and fashion history (the exhibition ends October 2). If you don’t get the chance to take a visit, here’s a preview of Gaultier’s work. To all those concerned about spoiling it, I promise these pictures are nothing compared to the real thing, and it’s only a small taste (or just stop scrolling!).

As Gaultier explains, “At first, I did not want to do an exhibition because for me a retrospective is for a funeral—and I am alive! But instead of putting it together chronologically, it is almost like a new collection.”

Madonna's legendary conical bra was a Gaultier innovation

Dita Von Teese ends the show with the designer

Jean Paul Gaultier's signature stripes

Marion Cotillard in JPG at the 2008 Oscars, when she won Best Actress

Bustiers galore.

Impeccable lace detailing.

The rotating runway.

Click here for more information on the exhibit.